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FPB 64#6 GREY WOLF’s long voyage home – Auckland to UK

Filed Under (Sailing, Yeah Bloody Nice) by Chriswah on 24-03-2014

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The 64ft, British flagged GREY WOLF left her build yard Circa Marine in Auckland on 23 March bound east across the Pacific towards Panama and Lymington, where she plans to arrive in early summer. Her new owner Peter Watson is skippering a 6-man crew which includes apprentices from the Berthon Boat Company, the European agents for the FPB.

greywolf FPB64

Steve Dashew Designed – FPB64 – GREYWOLF

What on earth is an FPB? 

An FPB is a planet-friendly motor yacht designed by Dashew Offshore and built in New Zealand for the sort of long, blue-water cruising passages which until now have been the monopoly of sailboats. With a range of 5000 miles at around 10 knots, the FPB offers an intelligent alternative to fuel-gulping, noisy, wash-creating power yachts.

Tom Cunliffe, who is handling the UK end of a blog dialogue with GREY WOLF and the Berthon apprentices, observed, ‘The very idea of making this particular 12,000-mile voyage in a relatively small, semi-production motorboat is ground-breaking. The probable weather is far from ideal and the start has already been delayed by a named cyclone in the South Pacific. The first leg of 2000 nautical miles to Tahiti is regarded as a potentially heavy-weather passage and the crew have rolled the dice, playing the odds in a notably active hurricane season. Following the blog over the whole voyage promises a frank human commentary from several young men who never expected to go to sea. It will also secure readers a private glimpse of life on the ocean in one of these remarkable boats.’

Because the FPB’s brief is to work with nature rather than battle to ‘conquer’ it, Peter Watson expects that some of his passages will involve significant detours from the Great Circle routes to optimise winds and avoid adverse weather. With modern meteorological data feeds, a real-world cruising speed of over 9 knots makes this entirely realistic.

The map of the Long Voyage home for Greywolf

Map of the Long Voyage Home for Greywolf, from Auckland to UK via the Panama Canal.

Passage legs are:

Leg 1 –  New Zealand to French Polynesia (11 days – 2225 nm)
Leg 2 –  French Polynesia to Panama (22 days – 4450 nm)
Leg 3 – Panama to Antigua (10 days – 1150nm)
Leg 4 – Antigua to Bermuda (4 days – 950 nm)
Leg 5 – Bermuda to Horta (8 days – 1800 nm)
Leg 6 – Horta to Guernsey/Lymington (6 days – 1300 nm)

Berthon, who are the agents for the FPB Project in Europe, are working closely with owner Peter Watson who has generously offered to sign on six of their apprentices in turn as crew for successive legs of the voyage.

Peter Watson explained:  `I regard this as a fantastic opportunity to give these Berthon apprentices the chance to experience some significant sea time. As a youngster it was always my ambition to go to sea and before moving into industry I served in the Merchant Navy for 4 years as a Radio Officer. The sea shaped my career and I have enjoyed yachting ever since. But they won’t just be along for the ride. The apprentices will become valuable members of the crew, not only as integral to the day-to-day running of the yacht, but also taking part in critical decisions on navigation and weather strategy.’

Keith Longman, Yard Manager at Berthon Boat Company says, ‘This is a life-changing trip for the apprentices and it was tough selecting six applicants from the twenty that were eligible. For me, the key was deciding who would benefit most from the experience in terms of professional and personal development. For the apprentices, this is more than just a delivery trip, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime.’

Jack Gunstone-Smith (3rd Year Shipwright) is the apprentice crewing on the first leg from Auckland to French Polynesia. He has now spent some time at Circa Marine working alongside their own apprentices and getting his first taste of what the FPB motor yachts are about. His blog goes live today.

Bruce Farrand, the MD at Circa is convinced that, ‘investment in apprentices is vital, especially in this economic climate, to ensure there is no skills gap or a shortfall of expertise in the future, not just in New Zealand and the UK, but worldwide. Welcoming Jack to Circa has provided a one-off opening for him to see how we build these motor yachts with our own youngsters before he sets off on GREY WOLF.’

Sue Grant of Berthon International – ‘We will be thrilled to see an FPB arrive in Lymington from the other side of the world on her own bottom. These unique motor yachts offer a blue water cruising package that cannot be found anywhere else. We are also looking forward to the launch of Peter’s FPB 78’ in 2016 and to following her voyages to both high and low latitudes.

To follow GREY WOLF on her long voyage home, visit www.berthon.co.uk/greywolf

Fail Boat Friday – America’s Cup Man Overboard Edition

Filed Under (SailingFail, Yeah Bloody Nice) by Chriswah on 13-09-2013

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america's cup man overboard

Friday Fail Boat – America’s Cup Man Overboard Special

Here is a collection of funny sailing fails from the 34th America’s Cup involving sailors going overboard – seems fitting since Oracle are getting dicked by ETNZ.

Its been a little while since I posted, I promise I will start doing these each week.

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America’s Cup Press Conference from Race 5

Filed Under (Sailing, Yeah Bloody Nice) by Chriswah on 11-09-2013

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Jimmy Spithill getting a grilling at the latest America’s Cup press conference after Race 5.

Lots of questions about what Oracle will be doing in the future, is John Kostecki going to be onboard….

I think Jimmy did very well, but I think there will be a few changes come Thursdays races.

Fail Boat Friday – Sausage Waving

Filed Under (Sailing, SailingFail, Yeah Bloody Nice) by Chriswah on 28-06-2013

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So to start off with here is a very nice shot of Alegre, thanks for the from the Bowman onboard – Matt Cornwell, fresh out of the box Mini Maxi racing in the Giraglia Inshore Race. Some great work by British Sailing Team Mark Andrews on spotting the guys at the back of the boat, either waving a sausage at the camera man or getting rid of some excess fluid(peeing off the back of the boat).

Pissing or waving a sausage??

Waving a sausage off the back of a boat


Here is some great footage of the Oracle AC team two boat testing out in San Fran, I did read somewhere they had some headstay issue with the new boat, hope they get it all sorted.


BOOOOM!!! Poor little bugger, but they have to learn one way or another!


Did somebody order a Chinese?? Wild Ride Team showing us how not to Gybe


Not sure this is how you launch a new boat…


Nothing to do with sailing, but this is awesome. What is better than a parrot head banging to Death Metal!!??

Torbjörn Takes The Helm of Artemis Racing AC45

Filed Under (Sailing, Yeah Bloody Nice) by Chriswah on 21-06-2013

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Artemis Racing’s owner, Torbjörn Törnqvist, this week visited San Francisco, where he spent time with the team—working out, participating in dive training, and sailing on the AC45 (even notching a new speed record). It was Torbjörn’s second visit in the last month.

Friday Fail Boat – Awesome Edition

Filed Under (SailingFail, Yeah Bloody Nice) by Chriswah on 14-06-2013

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So thought we would have a break from all the fail videos this week and move onto some awesomeness.

First up we have some awesome footage for a Mini650 hauling ass in some breeze, you can tell the bottom is very clean on this one….


Some of you might of missed this next one, you might have to watch it a few time, but a rower getting involved in the AC.


Next up some of the best heavy weather Skiff sailing you will ever see. You got to love the Aussie commentators!


Ok I couldn’t resist a bit of fail boating… The best Capsizes from the Extreme Sailing Series


Have a good weekend folks!

The View from the Top – Oracle USA Crane Driver

Filed Under (Sailing, Yeah Bloody Nice) by Chriswah on 10-06-2013

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Nice to see some of the guys in the background finally getting some exposure. Great video here showing what Ron Esparza does for Oracle Team USA, he is the crane driver that gets to play with the wing

The first part of the video is footage of the boat flying around the bay in San Fran, looking really good

Friday Fail Boat – Nice Dive Jimmy

Filed Under (SailingFail, Yeah Bloody Nice) by Chriswah on 07-06-2013

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We are back with some Friday Fail Boat videos for you to ease you into the weekend.


Up first a great video from this week of BMW Oracle Jimmy Spithill taking a nice dive. Think you need to work on your legs and entry position there Jimmy.


Up next – Ben Ainslie and the JP Morgan Round the Island Race, such a great day for the boys after the funeral of Andrew Simpson the day before.
Well done guys, great work from all and a fitting tribute to your friend Bart.


Did someone order a Chinese?

A Chinese Gybe that is – this week its Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09, Tony Mutter talk you through a lovely Chinese gybe.


Here is some awesome Friday Boat Fails on a 49er, something for my dinghy followers for a change!

And finally for this week, a boat fail compilation video, remember to be safe out there this weekend if you are sailing.

Andrew Bart Simpson – 1976-2013 #sailonbart

Filed Under (Sailing) by Chriswah on 31-05-2013

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A Tribute from the America’s Cup.

Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson – 2012 British Sailing Team – Star.

RYA Olympic Manger Stephen Park pays Tribute to Andrew.

The Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson Memorial Service FB page – lots of great photo here.

Mr Awesome showing his boat skills in Amsterdam

Filed Under (Sailing) by Chriswah on 24-05-2013

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Looks like Mr Awesome has been applying his skills to boat driving in Amsterdam.

yeah bloody nice
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